Dow Jones' Bancroft family will meet with Murdoch

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NEW YORK -- Dow Jones & Co. and the Bancroft family, its controlling shareholder, have decided to meet with News Corp. officials, including chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, and possibly consider a takeover by News Corp. or sale to or cooperation with another company, the financial news powerhouse said late Thursday.

The company said the News Corp. talks would initially focus on ensuring "the level of commitment to editorial independence, integrity and journalistic freedom that is the hallmark of Dow Jones."

Dow Jones said that the family and the board would only weigh financial terms of the recent $5 billion News Corp. bid or any potential modified offer if the family is satisfied that the company's high standards would remain intact.

The family also signaled its openness to "other options that might achieve the same overarching objective," according to a statement.

As a result, the company said its board has decided to consider "strategic alternatives" for Dow Jones, but didn't specify other options.

News Corp. officials weren't immediately available for comment.

According to the Dow Jones statement, Michael Elefante, a director who represents the family, has told the company's board that: "After a detailed review of the business of Dow Jones and the evolving competitive environment in which it operates, the family has reached consensus that the mission of Dow Jones may be better accomplished in combination or collaboration with another organization, which may include News Corporation."
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